Lewis v. State

Decision Date19 October 1984
Docket NumberNo. F-83-354,F-83-354
Citation1984 OK CR 93,695 P.2d 528
PartiesMark Eugene LEWIS, Appellant, v. The STATE of Oklahoma, Appellee.
CourtUnited States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma

BRETT, Judge:

The appellant, Mark Eugene Lewis, was convicted in Tulsa County District Court Case No. CRF-81-1315, of Murder in the First Degree, 21 O.S.1981, § 701.7(A). The appellant waived his right to a jury trial, and was tried before the Honorable Joe Jennings, District Judge, who sentenced him to life imprisonment. He appeals, and we reverse and remand for a new trial.

The dispositive issue on this appeal is one of first impression in our jurisdiction, to-wit: whether a defendant's waiver of his rights to counsel and against self-incrimination is knowingly and intelligently made when the defendant is not informed of his attorney's availability at police headquarters. We hold today that such a waiver is constitutionally invalid.

Appellant, then an eighteen-year-old high school student, was arrested on April 7, 1981 for the bludgeoning death of Gordon Lumpkin. 1 Immediately after the arrest, which occurred at approximately 1:40 p.m., appellant was transported and booked into the Tulsa County Jail.

Soon after his arrest, appellant's parents retained Lawrence Martin, a Tulsa attorney, to represent their son. Martin reported to the sheriff's dispatcher at 3:30 p.m., and then to the jail in an attempt to locate and advise his client. Moments before Martin arrived, however, sheriff's deputies began making arrangements to interrogate appellant, though the actual interrogation did not begin until approximately 3:30 p.m.

Martin, meanwhile, was sent to various locations in the jail and courthouse, prompting him to file a petition for writ of habeas corpus in his frustration. Nearly an hour after he first arrived at the jail, Martin was finally directed to his client by a helpful D.A.'s investigator.

When he located his client, Martin learned that appellant had waived his right to counsel and his right against self-incrimination, and had incriminated himself. However, on Martin's advice, appellant refused to sign a typed statement prepared by the deputies. Appellant was never told by authorities that Martin was available.

Appellant urges us to hold the confession suppressible, based on the holding and supporting rationale of the Oregon Supreme Court in State v. Haynes, 288 Or. 59, 602 P.2d 272 (1979). We are persuaded by appellant's argument, we agree with the holding and logic of the Oregon court that

the issue of a suspect's access to counsel enters cases like the present as an aspect of his right to answer questions or provide incriminating testimony only voluntarily. Or. Const. art. I, § 12, U.S. Const. amend. V. 2 It is the incriminating evidence so obtained that defendant seeks to suppress in this case as in all the cases we have cited. No one so far has suggested that interference with an arrested person's access to a lawyer, however improper and subject to other remedies, would itself lead to a reversal of a subsequent conviction if defendant in fact said nothing and no evidence was obtained as a result nor other harm done to his eventual defense .... [T]he law does not impose the benefit of those efforts on a defendant who rejects them. They may be waived just as the right to remain silent itself may be waived. There is no law that a person in custody may not speak if he so chooses, and without a lawyer's advice. The crucial point is that it must be a knowing choice as well as voluntary in the sense of not being coerced. As the United States Supreme Court recently stated in Brewer v. Williams, 430 U.S. 387, 404, 97 S.Ct. 1232, 1242, 51 L.Ed.2d 424 (1977), when the state claims waiver it has the burden to show 'an intentional relinquishment or abandonment of a known right or privilege,' quoting Johnson v. Zerbst, 304 U.S. 458, 464, 58 S.Ct. 1019, 82 L.Ed. 1461 (1938).

To pass up an abstract offer to call some unknown lawyer is very different from refusing to talk with an identified attorney actually available to provide at least initial assistance and advice, whatever might be arranged in the long run. A suspect indifferent to the first offer may well react quite differently to the second. If the attorney appears on request of one's family, that fact may inspire additional confidence. He, too, will perhaps be sent away. We do not hold with the New York court that this decision can be made only in the attorney's presence, although in practice this would obviate the recurring problems of proof that have been mentioned. But ... when law enforcement officers have failed to admit counsel to a person in custody or to inform the person of the attorney's efforts to reach him, they cannot thereafter rely on defendant's 'waiver' for the use of his subsequent uncounseled statements or resulting evidence against him. We believe this rule protects the suspect's right under article I, section 12, and the federal fifth and 14th amendments not to testify against himself, and also that it suffices to satisfy the statement quoted by defendant from Miranda v. Arizona, [384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966) ] that police interference with consultations between defendant and an attorney 'constitutes a violation of the Sixth Amendment right to the assistance of counsel and excludes any statement obtained in its wake.' 384 U.S. at 465, n. 35, 86 S.Ct. at 1623.

602 P.2d at 278-279. (Emphasis added).

Our agreement with the Oregon Supreme Court is strengthened by similar rulings in other jurisdictions. See Commonwealth v. Hilliard, 471 Pa. 318, 370 A.2d 322 (1977) (if counsel has expressed a desire to be present during interrogation, a waiver of counsel in counsel's absence should be invalid as a matter of law); People v. Arthur, 22 N.Y.2d 325, 239 N.E.2d 537, 292 N.Y.S.2d 663 (1976); Commonwealth v. McKenna, 355 Mass. 313, 244 N.E.2d 560 (1969); People v. Donovan, 13 N.Y.2d 148, 193 N.E.2d 628, 243 N.Y.S.2d 841 (1963).

The State would have us adopt what is apparently the minority rule. In State v. Blanford, 306 N.W.2d 93 (Iowa 1981), the Iowa Supreme Court was faced with the same issue, but instead held that while "a suspect's request for counsel must be honored; a lawyer's request for a client need not be." Id. at 96. While we agree generally with this rule, we disagree with its...

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  • People v. Houston
    • United States
    • California Supreme Court
    • October 2, 1986
    ...den. (1986) 475 U.S. 1086, 106 S.Ct. 1470, 89 L.Ed.2d 725; Haliburton v. State (Fla.1985) 476 So.2d 192, 193-194; Lewis v. State (Okla.Crim.App.1984) 695 P.2d 528, 530; Weber v. State (Del.1983) 457 A.2d 674, 685-687; People v. Smith (1982) 93 Ill.2d 179, 66 Ill.Dec. 412, 416, 442 N.E.2d 13......
  • State v. Stephenson
    • United States
    • Tennessee Supreme Court
    • May 9, 1994
    ...A.2d 322 (1977); State v. Hickman, 175 W.Va. 709, 338 S.E.2d 188 (1985); People v. Harris, 703 P.2d 667 (Colo.App.1985); Lewis v. State, 695 P.2d 528 (Okl.Crim.App.1984). Courts adopting this approach have, in large part, based their rationale on State v. Haynes, supra, in which the Oregon ......
  • Dennis v. State, F-97-1220.
    • United States
    • United States State Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma. Court of Criminal Appeals of Oklahoma
    • May 6, 1999
    ... ... Dennis claims that while he was in the interview room confessing, an attorney retained for him was just outside the door, loudly demanding to see him. In Lewis v. State, 6 decided in 1984, this Court held a Miranda waiver is not voluntary where a defendant is not told counsel is present. Relying on the 990 P.2d 281 Oklahoma Constitution, the Court reasoned that a defendant cannot knowingly and intelligently waive his rights to counsel and against ... ...
  • State v. Reed
    • United States
    • New Jersey Supreme Court
    • July 23, 1993
    ...St.3d 150, 15 OBR 296, 472 N.E.2d 1097, 1102-03, cert. denied, 470 U.S. 1084, 105 S.Ct. 1845, 85 L.Ed.2d 144 (1985); Lewis v. State, 695 P.2d 528, 530 (Okla.Crim.App.1985); State v. Haynes, 288 Or. 59, 602 P.2d 272 (1979), cert. denied, 446 U.S. 945, 100 S.Ct. 2175, 64 L.Ed.2d 802 (1980); C......
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